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2012 Missouri Wild Turkey Brood Survey Results 

Jason L. Isabelle - Resource Scientist 
Missouri Department of Conservation 

Each year, citizen volunteers and Missouri Department of Conservation staff record the 
number of hens and poults that they observe during June, July, and August. These observations 
are used to determine the success of the hatch, which is the driving force in determining wild 
turkey abundance. Based on the total number of hens and poults observed, a poult-to-hen ratio is 
calculated, which is simply the average number of poults observed per hen. This information 
serves as an index to wild turkey production at both the statewide and regional scales. 

Research has shown that good wild turkey production tends to result from dry weather 
during nesting and brood-rearing, and conditions this year could certainly be described as such. 
With Missouri in the grips of an extreme drought, the state's turkey population experienced yet 
another good hatch this summer. The 2012 statewide poult-to-hen ratio of 1.7 is identical to last 
year's ratio, and is 42% and 21% higher than the previous 5 and 10-year averages, respectively. 
The 2012 ratio exceeded the previous 5-year average in all turkey productivity regions (see 
figure below), with most regions experiencing poult-to-hen ratios ranging from 1.5-1.7. 

The highest production this year was observed in portions of Southeast Missouri, where 
the ratio exceeded two poults per hen. Especially notable improvements in 2012 occurred in the 
Northwest, Ozark Border, and West Prairie regions, where poult-to-hen ratios were at least 50% 
higher than the previous 5-year average. With the hatches of 2007-2010 failing to exceed 1.2, the 
hatches of 201 1 and 2012 represent a considerable improvement in production, and should serve 
to bolster turkey numbers throughout much of the state. 

2012: 1.7 

Missouri Department of Conservation 
2012 Wild Turkey Brood Survey Results 

2012 Poult-to-Hen Ratio* 
L^wis ^ 2012: 1.5 Statewide: 1.7 

5-Yr.Avg.:1.2 5-Yr. Avg.: 1.2 

Productivity Regions 

I Lindley Breaks 

lississippi Lowlands 
I Northeast 
I Northwest 
I Ozart; Border 
I Ozarks East 
I Ozarks West 
I Union Breaks 
I West Prairie 

2012: 1.5 
i5-Yr.Avg.: 1.3 

2012:1.6 2012:2.5 

5-Yr.Avg.: 1.2 5-Yr.Avg.: 1.5 

An index to wild turkey production. Data are the average number 
of poults per hen observed during MDC's wildturl^ey brood survey. 

2012: 2.2 
5-Yr.Avg.: 1.6